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A Guide to the Best Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score

Are you new to credit or need to rebuild your profile? If your current FICO score sits in the 600 to 650 range, chances are that you are struggling to qualify for the premium rewards cards with huge sign-up bonuses. Still, your credit score is high enough to make cards created for poor-credit consumers seem unattractive.

After extensive research, we were able to pinpoint the needs of the consumer demographic you belong to and compile a list of the best credit cards for a 600 credit score. Choose any one of these cards, use it wisely and responsibly, and you’ll see a boost in your credit score in no time.

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Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit — Top Picks

Top 3 Picks

First Access VISA®
Credit Card

60-second approval process

Reports to all three major credit bureaus

Great for rebuilding credit score

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Top-Rated Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score

Credit Score Range

No min. requirement

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The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card has a sufficient credit limit and a low APR. It requires a minimum deposit of $200 and approves applicants with low and fair credit scores. If you’re approved for this credit card, you’ll automatically qualify for two other First Progress secured cards.

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Credit score range:

None

Credit limit:

200+

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

None

Regular APR:

13.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$39

Other fees:

late payment fees, cash advance fees, transaction fees

Card network:

Mastercard

2. Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card

Guaranteed approval

No credit check

Low APR

Credit score range:

No min. requirement

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The Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card is an ideal option for people who are looking to rebuild their credit score quickly. Since there is no credit check or minimum credit score requirement, approval is guaranteed. In addition to having a low fixed interest rate, cardholders can also increase their credit limit up to $5000 by making additional deposits.

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Credit limit:

$200-$1000

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

None

Regular APR:

9.99% fixed

Annual fee:

$48

Other fees:

Cash advance, foreign transaction, late payment, returned payment fees

Card network:

Visa

3. First Access VISA®
Credit Card

60-second approval process

Reports to all three major credit bureaus

Great for rebuilding credit score

Credit score range:

N/A

Apply Now

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One of the most popular things about this card is its secure and quick online application process. While offering customers the opportunity to rebuild their credit score by reporting to all three major credit bureaus, the card also comes with a decent credit limit of $300.

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Credit limit:

$300+

Pre-qualification:

N/A

Rewards rate:

None

Regular APR:

34.99%

Annual fee:

$75 for first year, then $48 annually

Other fees:

program fee, monthly servicing fee, late payment fee, returned payment fee

Card network:

Visa

4. Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Boost your credit limit in 6 months

No annual fees

Fraud and theft protection

Credit score range:

580-669

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An unsecured credit card meant for fair-credit consumers, Capital One Platinum is a perfect example of what-you-see-is-what-you-get. The APR may be high and there might not be any rewards; however, this card charges no annual or foreign transaction fees and lets you boost your credit limit after only six months.

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Credit limit:

$300+

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

N/A

Regular APR:

26.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Other fees:

Cash advance and late payment fees

Card network:

Mastercard

5. Capital One Secured Mastercard

No foreign transaction fees

Security deposit lower than the credit limit

Excellent for rebuilding credit

Credit score range:

300-629

Apply Now

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The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card with a $0 annual fee and flexible security deposit requirements. Considered an excellent option for consumers building or rebuilding credit, this card reports to all three major credit bureaus and gives you a chance to increase your limit after only six months of timely payments.

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Credit limit:

$200+

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

N/A

Regular APR:

26.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Other fees:

Cash advance and late payment fees

Card network:

Mastercard

6. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa

Cashback rewards on everyday purchases

Simple pre-qualification process

Credit line increase potential

Credit score range:

580-669

Apply Now

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Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit is a solid choice if you have a modest credit history and don’t want to give up on rewards while working towards an improved credit score. In addition to 1% cash back on eligible everyday purchases, this card also offers zero fraud liability and free FICO credit score access.

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Credit limit:

$300+

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

1% cash back

Regular APR:

17.99%-23.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0-$99

Other fees:

Cash advance, foreign transaction, late payment, and returned payment fees

Card network:

Visa

7. Avant Credit Card

No foreign transaction fees

Quick and easy pre-qualification

Reports to all three credit bureaus

Credit score range:

600-700

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One of the best things about the Avant credit card is that its issuing bank (WebBank, a Utah-based financial institution) considers factors other than just your credit score to determine eligibility. It’s best suited for sensible borrowers, credit rebuilders, and those who are just starting their credit-building journey.

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Credit limit:

$300-$1000

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

N/A

Regular APR:

24.99%-25.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$29-$59

Other fees:

Cash advance and late payment fees

Card network:

Mastercard

8. Discover it Secured

No penalty APR

No annual membership fee

Potential upgrade to an unsecured credit card

Credit score range:

300-629

Apply Now

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If you've been hoping to find a secured credit card for fair credit that offers cashback rewards and doesn't charge an annual fee, search no more. Discover it Secured doesn't make you miss out on rewards while helping you build or rebuild your credit profile, and even offers you a path to upgrade to an unsecured card.

Read full review

Credit limit:

$200+

Pre-qualification:

Yes

Rewards rate:

1%-2% cash back

Regular APR:

22.99% (variable)

Annual fee:

$0

Other fees:

Balance transfer, cash advance, late payment, and returned payment fees

Card network:

Discover

Choosing the Best Credit Cards for a Credit Score of around 600 — Our Methodology

Before we dive into the advantages and disadvantages of our top picks among the most sought-after fair-credit credit cards, we’d like to introduce you to our methodology. It contains the most important factors we suggest you take into account when choosing the best option for your credit situation and spending style.

Eligibility Requirements

Given that this article focuses on evaluating the best credit cards for a specific credit score range, we made sure to focus on options that accept consumers new to credit or those that need to rebuild their profiles. The issuers of the best credit cards for fair credit don’t just glance at your credit score when evaluating your application – they also take your overall financial situation into account.

APR

Even the best credit cards for fair to poor credit are notorious for their high annual percentage rates. The APR is always variable and charged both on balance transfers and purchases. Very few issuers (if any) offer 0% intro APR on both transaction types. We recommend you try and pay off your balance in full each month to avoid these high rates.

Fees

Low-interest credit cards for fair credit are hard to find, as are cards without any additional fees. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that different cards charge different types of fees. The most important costs to keep an eye out for include annual membership, balance transfer, cash advance, foreign transaction, late payment, and returned payment charges.

Credit Limit

A credit line (or a credit limit) is the maximum amount of money that an issuer is willing to extend to a client on a particular credit card account. Banks and similar financial institutions set credit limits based on the information provided by the credit-seeking applicant. Credit cards for fair credit with high limits are very rare – starting lines that you can get approved for are usually between $200 and $300. If you sign up for a secured credit card, the security deposit you’ll need to put up will probably match your credit limit.

Pre-Qualification

The pre-qualification process is the initial evaluation of a consumer’s ability to qualify for a credit card. Not only is pre-qualification used to determine an applicant’s eligibility, but it’s also a great way for the consumer to overview the likely APR, fees, and other terms they may qualify for without losing any credit score points.

Rewards and Bonus Offers

Credit cards for a credit score under 600 usually don’t have generous rewards rates and welcome offers. Still, not all fair-credit cards make you give up on rewards while helping you build or rebuild your credit. While bonus points and miles are mostly reserved for premium cards, there’s a selection of cashback credit cards for those with modest credit histories.

Further Reading

Transferring Credit Card Balance: A Detailed Guide

Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score - Our Picks:

The Best Credit Cards to Apply for with a 600 Score — In-Depth Reviews

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: None
  • Credit limit: 200+
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: None
  • Regular APR: 13.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Other fees: Late payment fees, cash advance fees, transaction fees
  • Card network: Mastercard

This is another great option if you’re in the market for a low-interest credit card for fair credit scores. Once you’re approved for the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card, you’ll automatically qualify for two other secured cards from the same bank.

Although the card comes with high annual fees and doesn’t offer any rewards, its low-interest rate and easy-to-meet requirements make it one of the best financial solutions on our list.

APR and Fees

The Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card has an annual fee of $39. Although there are other credit cards for fair credit with no annual fee, there is no shortage of programs that charge more than the First Progress line.

In addition to the annual fee, there is a cash advance fee of $10 or 3% of each cash advance. If you sign up to use this card, you’ll also be charged for any foreign transactions, which equals 3% of the transaction amount.

Moreover, the Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card slaps customers with penalties of up to $40 for late payments, while the returned payment fee goes up to $29.

Reasons to Choose the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card

The Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card is one of the top credit cards for fair credit. There are no minimum credit score or credit history requirements. Additionally, the service provides monthly reports to all three major credit bureaus, meaning that you can boost your credit score by making regular payments.

One of the main reasons this card made our list is the relatively low APR, which is 13.99% (variable) for purchases and 19.99% for a cash advance. Compared to other credit cards with bad credit, the APR is among the lowest you can find.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

If you are looking for the best unsecured credit cards for fair credit, the Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card isn’t for you. The secured card has a revolving line of credit. The minimum deposit is $200, and it’s a bit complicated to add more money to increase your credit line.

Another downside is that the service isn’t available in all states. If you are a resident of New York, Iowa, Arkansas, and Wisconsin, you cannot get this card.

Reasons to Apply

No credit check

Reports to three major credit agencies

Refundable deposit

25-day grace period

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: No min. credit score requirement
  • Credit limit: $200-$1000
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: No
  • Regular APR: 9.99% fixed
  • Annual fee: $48
  • Other fees: Cash advance, foreign transaction, late payment, returned payment fees
  • Card network: Visa

If you’re looking for the best credit cards for an under-600 credit score, the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card is the perfect option. This is one of the easiest credit cards to get because the bank doesn’t do a credit check and there is no minimum credit score required. That means approval is guaranteed even if you have a poor credit score and red flags on your report.

With a low fixed interest rate, this is definitely one of the best solutions for card holders struggling to improve their credit score. If you pay your bills on time, you can expect significant improvements in your score relatively quickly.

APR and Fees

When compared to other credit cards with fair credit applicants, the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card stands out for charging the lowest interest rate in the industry. The card comes with a fixed APR of 9.99%, so you don’t need to worry about market fluctuations.

It’s also important to mention that the bank won’t charge you application fees, and what’s more important, it doesn’t charge penalty APR.

However, there are other fees that you need to know about. First of all, the bank will charge you an annual fee of $48. The sum is automatically taken from your account after you make an initial deposit. This best credit card for fair credit comes with a few additional fees including $38 for late payments as well as a $30 stop payment fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee. Customers will also be charged for any additional or replacement cards.

Reasons to Choose the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card

Designed for clients who don’t have a good credit score but want to rebuild it, the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card has a large pool of customers. This is one of the best credit cards for fair credit because there are no minimum credit score requirements, and it’s remarkably easy to get approved.

Another great thing about the card is that customers can benefit from automatic reporting to all three national credit bureaus. This will help you improve your credit score if you pay your bills on time. In addition, it’s important to note that the aforementioned APR is hard to find anywhere else, even if your credit score is higher than 600.

You have to deposit a minimum of $200 or a maximum of $1000 to activate the card. However, you can also increase your credit limit up to $5000 by making additional deposits.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

If you’re looking for credit cards for fair credit with no annual fee, this is not the right card for you. In addition to the $48 annual fee, which is higher than with any other option on our list, the bank charges a long list of other fees.

Unlike many of its counterparts, the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card doesn’t have a grace period, and customers are charged interest right off the bat. Also, some customers might be disappointed to learn that there is no rewards program available.

Reasons to Apply

No credit check

Flexible deposits

Low APR

Automatic reports to three national credit bureaus

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: N/A
  • Credit limit: $300+
  • Pre-qualification: N/A
  • Rewards rate: None
  • Regular APR: 34.99%
  • Annual fee: $75 for first year, then $48 annually

The next name on our list of the best unsecured credit cards for fair credit is First Access Visa Card. The card’s secure and simple online application process is followed by quick decisions in as little as 60 seconds. Although beneficial to consumers who want to start rebuilding their credit score, the First Access Visa Card comes with pretty high fees and doesn’t include a rewards program. Let’s take a closer look at the card’s features and see how it stacks up against the competition.

APR and Fees

The First Access Visa Card is one of the more expensive cards that we’ve reviewed. This is one of the credit cards for fair credit with near-instant approval. But once you’re approved, you’ll need to pay a $95 program fee in order to open your account. The card also comes with a high annual fee. For the first year, customers are charged $75, while the annual membership fee for every consecutive year is $48, whether you use your card or not. There is also a servicing charge that you’ll need to start paying after the first year. This fee is $6.25/month, which amounts to $75 per year.

The First Access Visa Card also comes with relatively high late payment fees and returned payment fees. These can go up to $40, which is more than with some of the other cards.

Getting one of the best credit cards for an average credit score has its price. The First Access Visa Card offers an APR of 34.99% for both purchases and cash advances. Of course, a high APR is not a problem if you’re making your payments on time. However, if you’re not sure that you can pay your bills on time, it’s probably better to explore alternative options. The good thing is that there’s a grace period of 21 days during which you don’t need to pay the interest rate.

Reasons to Choose the First Access Visa Card

The First Access Visa Card offers a few obvious advantages. The first of these is that it’s an unsecured credit card for a 600 credit score, which means the bank doesn’t ask applicants for any collateral. In addition, the bank will issue monthly reports to all three major credit reporting agencies. If you pay your credit card bills on time, you can improve your score in a relatively short period of time. Moreover, cardholders get access to round-the-clock customer support and can even select their own card design from the bank’s gallery. There are no additional fees for designing your card.

Similar to other Visa credit cards for fair credit, this unsecured card comes with an initial credit line of $300. It’s an adequate amount of money for bad credit holders. Many other credit cards have a limit of only $200.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

The most notable downside with this card is the high fees, including annual fees, monthly servicing fees, and the one-time program fee of $95. The annual fee will be determined before you start using the card and will reduce the amount of credit from $300 to $225. Your credit line can go as low as $196 if you want an additional card. As such, if you’re on the hunt for credit cards for fair credit with high limits, consider other options.

Customers shouldn’t expect any relief from the high fees because there is no rewards program, and the bank charges an extremely high APR.

Reasons to Apply

21-day grace period

Easy to apply

Low credit score requirements

Credit limit increases

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: 580-669
  • Credit limit: $300+
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Regular APR: 26.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other fees: Cash advance and late payment fees
  • Card network: Mastercard

If your credit history isn’t the longest, or you’ve made financial mistakes in the past, applying for a card such as the Platinum Mastercard from Capital One could be a smart decision. Geared towards people with a credit score of 600, this card stands out with its lack of annual fee and long list of valuable perks to make your credit-building journey more bearable.

Though the APR is quite high, the Capital One Platinum credit card is still a solid choice for consumers who plan on using it mainly for small purchases and don’t intend to carry a balance.

APR and Fees

With no introductory APR offer, the regular APR for purchases and balance transfers is 26.99% (variable). While the high annual percentage rate isn’t a problem for those who pay their credit card bills in full every month, we suggest you explore other credit card offers for fair credit if you expect to carry over debt from month to month.

It’s also important to mention that, as a Capital One Platinum user, you get to choose your due date. In other words, the card lets you schedule payments according to your cash flow and pick the time of the month that best suits your unique situation. Also, if you happen to make a late payment, you won’t be charged a penalty annual percentage rate.

As one of the best no-annual-fee credit cards for fair credit, the Platinum Mastercard from Capital One doesn’t come with a membership cost. There are also no foreign transaction fees; however, you’ll be charged either $10 or 3% of each cash advance, whichever is greater. As far as penalty charges go, there’s a late payment fee that can go up to $40.

Reasons to Choose the Capital One Platinum Mastercard

Capital One Platinum is an unsecured credit card: In this context, “unsecured” means that you don’t need to put up collateral – a security deposit that can be applied to the card balance in the event you default on your credit card account. Considering that good unsecured credit cards for fair credit are quite rare, this is definitely an upside.

Another significant advantage of Capital One Platinum is the chance to boost your credit limit (also referred to as the credit line) in as little as six months. This is important because a higher credit limit (if it’s not used) can improve your score by lowering your credit utilization ratio. All you have to do to get your credit line increased is make timely payments for the first half a year.

Additionally, given that this credit card for fair credit reports to all three major bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – it can help build your credit. Unless your payment history is recorded by all three bureaus, your credit information may be incomplete and your score miscalculated.

The Capital One Platinum credit card belongs to the Mastercard family and comes with several network-specific advantages. Benefits include fraud coverage, 24-hour travel and roadside assistance, auto rental and travel accident insurance, price protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

Although it’s one of the most popular credit cards for a credit score of around 600, Capital One Platinum does have a few disadvantages. First of all, it doesn’t offer any type of reward. If you’re hoping to accumulate bonus points, miles, or cash rewards, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Second of all, carrying a balance does get quite expensive.

In addition to these obvious disadvantages, it’s also worth mentioning that limits on this card tend to be lower for applicants with average credit. The lowest credit limit that you can be approved for on this fair credit card is $300.

Reasons to Apply

Boost your credit limit in 6 months

No annual fees

Fraud coverage

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: 300-629
  • Credit limit: $200+
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Regular APR: 26.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other fees: Cash advance and late payment fees
  • Card network: Mastercard

If you’ve just started building your score or you need help bringing your credit profile out of the gutter, the chances of getting approved for an unsecured credit card are slim. The good news is, you have other options.

There are secured fair credit cards with flexible deposit requirements that don’t charge annual fees and give you a chance to boost your credit line after only six timely monthly payments – the Secured Mastercard from Capital One ticks all of these boxes.

APR and Fees

Like most credit-building cards, Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t offer an introductory APR, while the regular APR for both balance transfers and purchases is 26.99% (variable). On the other hand, it lets you choose not only your due date but also your preferred payment method, which makes this financial product one of the most sought-after fair-credit credit cards.

You can pay your bill online, write a check, or visit a local branch to make the transaction.

There are no annual membership or foreign transaction charges. There is a penalty fee for each late payment, however, and it goes up to $40. Also, remember that you’ll be charged at least $10 or 3% of the transaction amount for each cash advance.

Reasons to Choose the Capital One Secured Mastercard

Geared towards consumers who are building or rebuilding their credit scores, this secured credit card has a large target market. Its security deposit-related flexibility is a particularly popular feature: While most secured credit cards for below-600 credit score require you to match your credit line with the amount of your deposit, this one has a different approach.

Once you apply for the Capital One Secured Mastercard, the issuer will use your credit score to determine how much you’ll need to pay upfront as a guarantee. Depending on your credit profile, you’ll need to pay a refundable deposit of $49, $99, or $200 to unlock your initial $200 credit limit.

Consideration for a higher credit limit might come very quickly. All you have to do to boost it and possibly reduce your credit utilization ratio is make six on-time monthly payments. You won’t be required to deposit more money when your credit line increases, either.

One of the most reliable credit cards for fair credit, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One offers zero fraud liability, security alerts, autopay, 24/7 customer service, travel assistance, auto rental and travel insurance, and an extended warranty.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

If your credit score is at the lower end of fair (or even poor), and you need to rebuild it, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is excellent to work with. Still, if you can qualify for an unsecured credit card, we suggest you do so to avoid the otherwise required security deposit.

Other drawbacks you’ll have to face if you decide to sign up for this secured card for fair credit include high-interest rates, a low initial credit limit, and no rewards.

Reasons to Apply

No foreign transaction fees

Security deposit lower than the credit limit

Excellent for rebuilding credit

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: 580-669
  • Credit limit: $300+
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: 1% cash back
  • Regular APR: 17.99%-23.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0-$99
  • Other fees: Cash advance, foreign transaction, late payment, and returned payment fees
  • Card network: Visa

Created with consumers with modest credit histories in mind, the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit is one of the best unsecured credit cards for a 600 credit score. An excellent card for general use, it offers 1% cashback rewards on eligible everyday purchases, no annual fee for qualifying applicants, and zero fraud liability.

APR and Fees

Like most credit cards in this range, the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit doesn’t have an introductory APR offer. The annual percentage rate for cash advances is 23.99% (variable), while the APR for purchases ranges between 17.99% to 23.99% (variable).

Although one of the best cards for a 600 credit score, this credit-rebuilding Visa comes with an annual fee for some consumers. Based on your creditworthiness, you might be charged a $95 annual membership fee in the first year and $99 afterward. However, note that many fair-credit applicants have been able to avoid the yearly charge.

There’s a cash advance fee (the greater of $5 or 8% of each cash advance, or the greater of $10 or 3-5%) and a foreign transaction charge (either $1 or 3% of each purchase in US dollars – whichever is greater). There are also potential penalty costs, such as the late payment and returned payment fees, both of which go up to $39.

Reasons to Choose the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit

Credit cards for a 600 credit score can still come with plenty of advantages and premium features. One of the things that set the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit apart from its immediate competitors is its rewards policy. As a cardmember, you get 1% cashback rewards on qualifying purchases including groceries, gas, and services such as cable and satellite TV, internet, and mobile phone.

Given that the card issuer lets you go through a quick pre-qualification procedure, you can check if you’re eligible for the card without undergoing a credit check that may lower your credit score.

As one of the best credit cards for fair credit, Credit One Bank Visa lets you access your Experian credit report summary for free. An especially useful feature if you are building or rebuilding your credit profile, it allows you to keep an eye on the factors impacting your credit health.

Other benefits include the opportunity for increasing your credit limit after a while, zero fraud liability, and managing your account via the Credit One Bank mobile app.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

Since it doesn’t make you sacrifice rewards while helping you build or rebuild your credit profile, this card is truly one of the best cash back credit cards for fair credit. However, Credit One Bank Visa does come with a few drawbacks you should be aware of.

With no grace period on purchases, you’ll be accruing relatively high interest rates on your transactions from day one. And, in addition to the potential annual membership fee, there are foreign transaction, cash advance, late payment, and returned payment fees to think about.

Reasons to Apply

Cashback rewards on everyday purchases

Simple pre-qualification process

Credit line increase potential

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: 600-700
  • Credit limit: $300-$1000
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: N/A
  • Regular APR: 24.99%-25.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $29-$59
  • Other fees: Cash advance and late payment fees
  • Card network: Mastercard

Speaking of credit cards for a credit score of 600, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Avant credit card. Tailored to credit rebuilders, sensible borrowers, and younger consumers, this financial product doesn’t require a security deposit, has no hidden fees, and boasts a fast and easy application process with a pre-approval opportunity.

APR and Fees

Cost transparency is a hallmark of the Avant Credit Card issuer: There’s no intro APR and the regular annual percentage rate ranges between 24.99% and 25.99%. Keep in mind that the APR is variable and determined by your creditworthiness.

An annual fee is a staple of most credit cards for average credit, and the Avant card is no different. Depending on your credit history, you will be charged a minimum of $29 up to a maximum of $59 per year. In terms of additional costs, there’s a cash advance fee – the greater of 3% of the transaction amount and $10 – and a late payment charge of up to $39. On the other hand, there are no foreign transaction fees.

Reasons to choose the Avant Credit Card

Marketed as simple and transparent, the Avant credit card comes with a long list of advantages. Unlike most credit cards for a score of 600, this option is unsecured, which means that it grants you a credit limit between $300 and $1,000 to help you build your credit score and pay for what you need without asking for a security deposit.

Another great thing about it is that you won’t have to submit a full application and undergo a hard credit check just to find out if you’re eligible to receive it. Avant offers a quick and easy pre-qualification option that will let you see if you qualify for the card and if so, review your likely credit limit and annual fee without damaging your FICO score.

As one of the best cards for fair credit, the Avant card lets you make purchases outside the US without additional costs. Many cards aimed at those with an average credit score charge a 3%, or even higher foreign transaction fee, so the Avant Credit Card is an excellent choice for those doing business with foreign vendors or who travel internationally a lot.

This card issuer also offers zero fraud liability for unauthorized charges, reports your payment information to all three major credit bureaus, and reviews your account periodically for a potential credit limit boost.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

Many of the top credit cards for people with a 600 credit score don’t have an annual fee. Therefore, the relatively low Avant Credit Card yearly membership charge is a drawback nonetheless.

Rewards or one-time offers aren’t Avant’s strong points, either. While reward-earning opportunities aren’t the industry standard for starter cards, some do offer them, just not Avant.

Unlike most other credit cards on our list, the Avant card doesn’t let you adjust your payment to better match your financial situation.

Don’t expect any travel extras or similar cardmember benefits from this card aimed at people with a FICO score of 600, either.

Reasons to Apply

No foreign transaction fees

Quick and easy pre-qualification

Reports to all three credit bureaus

At a Glance

  • Credit score range: 300-629
  • Credit limit: $200+
  • Pre-qualification: Yes
  • Rewards rate: 1%-2% cash back
  • Regular APR: 22.99% (variable)
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other fees: Balance transfer, cash advance, late payment, and returned payment fees
  • Card network: Discover

Newbie credit users or those looking to rebuild their profile might find they’re best served by the Discover it Secured, a credit card that requires a refundable security deposit.

But don’t let the deposit daunt you – as one of the best credit cards for a 600 credit score, it also offers 2% cash back up to $1000 on select purchasing categories, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, and unlimited cash back matching on all rewards earned throughout your first year as a cardholder.

APR and Fees

Customarily, credit card offers for low-credit applicants do not include an introductory annual percentage rate, but Discover it Secured is a champion among cards. For six months, starting from the date of your first transfer, you get a 10.99% intro APR on balance transfers.

After the promotional period expires, your APR will be 22.99% on balance transfers and 24.99% on cash advances (both variable). But no penalty APR!

If you’re on the hunt for credit cards for a less-than-600 credit score, but can’t justify paying an annual fee, you’ll be happy to hear that the Discover it Secured carries no such charges. However, there are a few other standard fees you should be aware of: The balance transfer fee (3% in the intro period and 5% of each transfer amount afterward), cash advance fee (either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance), late payment fee (up to $40, waived for the first time late payment), and returned payment fee (up to $40).

Reasons to Choose the Discover it Secured Credit Card

As one of the best credit cards for a credit score of 600, Discover it Secured comes with many benefits that cards for consumers with modest credit histories usually skimp on.

First of all, this card doesn’t make you give up on rewards while building your credit profile. It earns you 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations for the first $1,000 in combined purchases every three months. Additionally, on all other purchases, you get unlimited 1% cash back.

To top it off, there is an unlimited dollar-for-dollar bonus match on all the cash back accumulated in your first year as a cardholder.

Another reason the Discover it Secured card is considered to be one of the best credit cards for poor to fair credit is that the issuer reviews your credit profile each month to determine whether you can transition to an unsecured account. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be a cardmember for eight months before these automatic monthly reviews can start.

Discover it Secured can be a great asset in building your credit history, as it reports to the three credit bureaus. It also lets you see your FICO score online, on statements, or via the Discover mobile app, all without hurting your credit.

As the best credit card for building credit, the card waives several fees, too: Paying late won’t raise your annual percentage rate (i.e. no penalty APR) and you’ll be forgiven your late fee the first time you miss a timely payment.

Reasons to Explore Other Options

One of the biggest drawbacks of this Discover card is the minimum deposit requirement of $200. The lowest credit limit that you can get approved for happens to be the same.

Though the Discover it Secured card is among the best credit cards for an under-600 credit score offering a lower introductory APR, its ongoing rate is quite high.

Unlike Visa or Mastercard credit cards, Discover cards are not widely accepted outside the United States. If you travel abroad a lot or make purchases with foreign vendors frequently, you will either need to severely limit your spending or, as we would suggest, look into alternative options.

Reasons to Apply

No penalty APR

No annual membership fee

Potential upgrade to an unsecured credit card

How Can You Improve Your Score by Using a Credit Card for Fair Credit?

You probably know that your credit score is one of the most important indicators of your financial health. Checking your score is the first step lenders take when evaluating how responsibly you use money. The higher your score, the smoother your approval process for good rates on insurance plans, mortgages, business loans, and credit cards.

If you’re a credit newcomer or rebuilding your profile, there’s a number of ways to improve your credit score – just keep in mind that the process takes a bit of time and effort.

Getting a new credit card is one of the steps we suggest you take on your credit-building journey. Say your score is around 600 and you’re unsure whether you can apply for a credit card with fair credit.

The good news is that not only are there credit card options for low- and average-credit applicants, but these financial products also help you move up to good or even excellent credit, as long as you use them responsibly.

So, how do easy-to-get credit cards work towards building your credit profile? The mechanism is pretty simple: The card issuer reports details about your account to the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – which they then use to form the basis of your credit score.

However, even the best credit cards for people with fair credit won’t do you any good if you don’t understand the key elements of your score and how your financial decisions affect them. Here’s an overview:

  • Payment history. Considering that payment history is one of the most important factors in your credit score, paying your bills on time every month is essential. The benefits of doing so are quite obvious – you get to avoid costly late fees, as well as the APR on any outstanding amounts. So, if possible, we suggest you pay off your balance in full every month. That way you won’t be charged interest on what you owe and credit cards for a fair credit score usually come with high APRs.
  • Credit utilization. After payment history, the credit utilization ratio is the second-largest factor in your scores. It’s defined as the amount you owe, expressed as a percentage of your available credit. For example, if you have a credit limit of $500 and $200 on your balance, your credit utilization is 40%. We suggest you try and stay under the 30% benchmark. This might be hard to achieve, as the utilization rate is directly dependent on the credit limit, and even the best credit cards for average credit usually keep that pretty low. Still, paying your bill in full each month also helps keep this factor in check.
  • Credit mix. Credit scoring formulas are quite complex and take many factors into account. You should keep in mind that they tend to reward consumers who prove that they can handle different types of credit. What this means in practice is that, ideally, you should have both installment loans and revolving accounts in your credit mix.
  • Credit history length. If you’re searching for credit cards for a FICO score of around 600, it probably means that you are at the beginning of your credit-building journey. However, given that the length of your credit history is one of the factors credit score calculations take into account, the sooner you can find the right card, the better.

FAQ

What credit card is good for a 600 credit score?

Is your credit score around 600? While it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be approved for a prime card with your fair credit, there are still excellent options to choose from. We’ve done the research and come up with a list of the best credit cards for a 600 FICO score: Capital One Platinum Mastercard review - Best unsecured credit card. Capital One Secured Mastercard - Best for the lower end of fair credit. Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit - Best for cashback rewards. Avant Credit Card - Best for foreign transactions. Discover it Secured Credit Card - Best for intro APR.

Can I get approved for a credit card with a 600 credit score?

The simple answer is - yes, you can. However, given that your score of 600 plants you firmly in the fair credit range, you’ll have a hard time qualifying for top-tier cards, as those usually require good to excellent credit. We suggest you check out some of the best credit cards for fair to good credit such as Capital One Platinum, Capital One Secured Mastercard, Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit, Avant Credit Card, and the Discover it Secured credit card.

What credit cards build credit fast?

If used properly, each legitimate credit card that you can get approved for can help you improve your credit score. When comparing credit card deals, make sure that you pick the card whose issuer will report your account details to all the major credit reporting agencies. Also, pay your bills on time and keep an eye on your credit utilization ratio to improve your score more quickly.

Which credit cards give you instant approval?

Getting instant approval on credit cards for a 600 credit score is quite rare. However, most fair-credit cards grant you the opportunity to check your eligibility without damaging your score and get an idea of your likely credit limit, APR, and fees before signing the contract.